November 29, 2012 / 6:10 PM / 5 years ago

Syria says Damascus airport road safe

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria’s Information Ministry said the highway to Damascus international airport was safe, state television reported on Thursday, hours after rebels said they were locked in fierce battles with the army in the area.

“The road to Damascus International Airport is safe after attacks by armed terrorist groups on passing cars and the intervention of security forces,” state television quoted the ministry as saying.

Rebels fighting a 20-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad earlier said they were fighting along the highway just a few kilometers outside the airport.

Several flights to the airport were cancelled and an Egypt Air flight that landed in Damascus turned around and returned to Cairo 45 minutes ahead of schedule.

The airline said it had cancelled its flights to Damascus on Friday due to the “deteriorating situation.”

Reporting by Erika Solomon; Editing by Sophie Hares

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